A new technique for Ge/Si heteroepitaxy from the solution, referred to as interfacial energy epitaxy, produces Ge layers with atomically abrupt interfaces to Si and permits monolayer-controlled growth at temperatures up to 937°C. The initial driving force for epitaxy comes from interfacial energy differences between Ge, Si, and the solvent or growth mediator, whose surface free energy has to be smaller than that of Ge. A superheating of the growth solution partly out-balances this driving force, which allows us to minimize the total driving force for epitaxy. Two-dimensional growth results. Subsequent faceting and pseudomorphic island growth manifest additional driving forces for epitaxy, which may be due to interfacial- and strain energy gain.
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